Coming back from CCF this afternoon, I thought I'd pop in and check to see if Market Street Market was open for business -- I had swung and missed yesterday around noon, but then heard they were open later on, so I wanted to check it out.
Thankfully, it was open, and I must say I'm impressed. For reasons I already wrote about a couple months ago after the Nasons spoke at a Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Assocation Meeting (the one at Athenian), this idea is welcome, and long overdue. Downtown has needed a grocery store for a lot longer than I've been here to notice and write about it, and there was a palpable sense of gratitude among the other shoppers I just talked to at MSM.
As I said before, I would definitely *root* for ANY downtown business, or really any local business at all, but in this case there's a lot of value coming back to me in a way that another Irish-themed pub or beauty salon wouldn't provide. As someone with a) a less-than-stellar track record of buying groceries and cooking at home, and b) a less-than-less-than stellar track record of ensuring said groceries do not go bad before recommended consumption date, it's quite nice to have a place I can buy real fresh groceries right across the street from my house.
Plus, I'm a fan of the hours. Weekdays for the time being are 7 a.m. - 8 p.m., with the possibility of later hours if the demand signal is there.
I noticed prices for a lot of items were a shade (or two) higher than what you might see at a supermarket or big box store, but a) as Robert Nason explained to me today, some may change as new suppliers are brought into the fold, and b) it saves downtowners from the hassle/cost of driving, and c) even with a slight markup, buying and preparing real food is probably a lot better on the wallet and the arteries than constantly falling back to Wendy's and Mickey D's as a matter of habit.